Food Allergy Awareness: Individuals Can Make A Difference

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People are coming up with all kinds of interesting ways to support those who must constantly be careful about what they eat.

Here are five individuals who contributed to food allergy education and research by linking their compassion for those with food allergies to personal interests and creative fundraising ideas.

Crazy Clothes

A mom in Connecticut, Alisa Barkan, whose son is allergic to peanuts and tree nuts, decided to raise funds for food allergy education at her son’s school. With the blessing of school personnel, Alisa organized a fundraiser called “Crazy Dress Up Day.”

Students who chose to participate came to school in fun costumes and were asked to make a donation; contributions topped $1,800. At the end of Crazy Dress Up Day, the school principal spoke with all the students about food allergies and why the fundraiser made a difference.

On the Run

Colorado athlete Josh Ondatje’s daughter Evy is allergic to peanuts and pine nuts. So, when Josh competes in marathons, triathlons, or Iron Man competitions he asks for local businesses, family members, and friends to donate what they can for food allergy education and awareness. He calls it his “Exercising for Evy” campaign.

After each race, Josh sends a picture of himself “in a silly pose” to his donors. By last July, he had raised more than $2,500.

Sweet Treats

Charlotte Morrison who is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, and shellfish knows first hand the difficulty of avoiding allergens daily. Charlotte, with her mother’s help, organized an Allergy-Friendly Bake Sale in their Georgia home town to support people managing food allergies. With the aid of volunteers, they baked nut, milk, and gluten free treats to sell outside a popular local store. Business was brisk and after four hours almost $800 was raised.

Sister Love

Megan Dolan’s beloved sister has been allergic to tree nuts, milk, and seafood since infancy. To support her sister and others, Megan combined her passions for running and educating others about food allergies. Using internet resources, she solicited food allergy donations on behalf of her half marathon run in New York City.

The run turned out to be a win for food allergy awareness and for Megan. Not only did she raise $1,075 to help those living with food allergies, Megan's NYC half marathon time was a personal best.

Footloose Fundraiser

When Californian Elana Sterling turned 13, she decided to celebrate with a dance party that doubled as a fundraiser for food allergy research. Elana - who has food allergies - planned the event with the help of some friends and used social media to get the word out.

The dance party was such a success she held the fundraiser again on her 14th birthday, making her total gift to food allergy research $1,172. Elana now plans on making a dance party fundraiser part of each year’s birthday celebration.

Note: All these individuals were raising money through/for FARE: Food Allergy Research & Education.

Source: Food Allergy Photo credit: elizabeth grant

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